Brands need to communicate in ways that are professional, polite, and personalized to customers. In other words, it’s important to show good etiquette. This is not to be confused with “Reddiquette” — otherwise known as the art of having conversations on Reddit.
Given the prominence of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, it’s understandable if marketers aren’t as intimately familiar with Reddit. At first glance, it’s less polished, a mish-mash of many different topics and, in some cases, a little more volatile in terms of the tone from various users.
Long before Google News became the default saved tab on many browsers, though, Reddit was often called the “front page of the Internet.” There’s evidence to suggest it could still make a legitimate claim to that title.
According to research from Statista, for example, Reddit attracted close to 1.27 billion visits in October of last year. That makes it one of the Internet’s most visited websites — and therefore a channel marketers can ill afford to ignore.
Once you start exploring Reddit, however, it quickly becomes obvious this is not your traditional social platform.
Yes, there is a mixture of text, graphics and videos, just like all the other social channels.
The critical difference, however, is the fact that what shows up in a user’s “feed” is not based on an individual poster’s popularity as it would be on Instagram or LinkedIn.
Instead, everyone on Reddit gets to “upvote” the posts that are seen as having the greatest value. This might seem similar to “likes” on other platforms, but in the case of Reddit, you can “downvote” content as well.
Reddit is also subdivided into a series of niche areas, called “subreddits,” many of which have specific rules around what and how you should post. Those overseeing a subreddit, called “Redditors,” have the right to ban posters for violating their rules.
Even if it seems like a bit of a free-for-all, in other words, Reddit requires careful planning and execution by brands, and may be less receptive to traditional marketing approaches.
Consider this your crash course in how to make the most of Reddit without getting on the community’s bad side:
Brands often feel it’s perfectly all right to prioritize their own content — their latest blog post, white paper or video — when they’re choosing what to share on platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn.
Reddit, by its very nature, is more about bringing a diversity of voices into its subreddits and general community.
This doesn’t necessarily mean posting or upvoting content about your competitors, but you may need to think beyond sharing content that’s narrowly related to your firm and even your own customers.
Look for content from the news, from industry researchers or independent bloggers that will be of interest to a given audience.
The content you share on Reddit doesn’t have to be all-business, either. Try for what’s inspirational, what’s funny or what might provoke an interesting discussion.
Much like entering into any other marketing channel, the best thing a brand can do is listen rather than “speak,” or share content on a particular platform.
This is especially true in the case of Reddit. Some subreddits might actively prohibit having new members share content immediately after joining (and yes, you have to formally join subreddits).
Some subreddits don’t allow you to share links of any kind.
Your best bet is to do the most common sense (but often overlooked) thing of all: taking the time to actually read each subreddit’s rules and plan your marketing strategy from there, rather than the other way around.
Don't be surprised to see rules against “blog spam” and wording that reflects the fact many Redditors are aware brands will see their community (wrongly) as a growth hacking tool.
Other no-nos might include the use of memes, screenshots, information that’s not attributed to a source and simply content that’s deemed “low value.”
All marketing activity should be tied to a goal, but social media can sometimes be an area where objectives are generic or vague.
Are you trying to drive traffic back to your site? Are you hoping to get a lot of comments going about a particular topic? Do you just want to raise awareness of your brand to those who haven’t encountered it yet?
Each of these things could require a different approach on Reddit. Posts that include a question in the headline, for instance, will probably be better for generating comments, while short headlines that pack an informational punch or make an argument might drive upvotes.
Simply commenting, upvoting others’ posts or sharing valuable content that’s not your own, however, may help build an actual relationship with those on Reddit.
Lest you read this post and conclude Reddit is far removed from other forms of social media, there’s a few things that are highly consistent with other principles you’ve probably adopted in your digital marketing strategy.
Video content is highly popular, for example. Much of the audience is probably now consuming the content on Reddit via mobile device. It’s also a platform where a “live” experience is possible.
Once you’ve spent some time building up credibility and connections, for instance, some organizations have hosted an “AMA” or “Ask Me Anything,” where their president or other senior leader carves out time to take questions from the Reddit community.
Not everyone is a great candidate for an AMA, but if you have an interesting profession or have achieved a certain level of recognition for your achievements, it’s a possibility.
Adapting to new marketing channels requires a mix of time, experimentation and analysis. That will be true of Reddit as it is any other social platform. You’ll be farther ahead the quicker you get started.